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Out Of Every Episode In Avatar: The Last Airbender, One Stands Above The Rest

It's a good time to be a fan of "Avatar: The Last Airbender." But was it ever really a bad time? Upon premiering on Nickelodeon in 2005, it was clear that creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko had something special on their hands. In the years since the three-season series concluded, "Avatar" spawned a regrettable live-action movie adaptation and the well-received spin-off "The Legend of Korra." Now there's a live-action Netflix "Avatar" in the works, as well as an upcoming trilogy of animated films from DiMartino, Konietzko, and Lauren Montgomery, who also worked on the original series. Hold onto your cabbages!

With all this new "Avatar" news on the horizon, there has never been a better time to revisit the original series, which remains eminently bingeable. Since going off the air in 2008, "Avatar: The Last Airbender" has maintained a cult following owing to its rich world-building and deft balance of tone. Indeed, some episodes contain a hushed, mystical reverence while others are delightfully silly or action-packed. Here's the episode of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" that stands above the rest.

Sozin's Comet gives Avatar: The Last Airbender the epic conclusion it deserves

The appeal of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" lies in its seemingly infinite adventures within the series' overarching narrative. This has understandably left viewers with a glut of favorite episodes to choose from. On Reddit, one savvy pollster put five episodes — plus an "Other" option — to the test. In a field that included "Zuko Alone," "The Tales of Ba Sing Se," "The Storm," and "The Great Divide," it was the sweeping series finale "Sozin's Comet" that soundly came out on top. Of the 478 votes, 151 came out in favor of the finale.

That viewers came out in support of "Sozin's Comet" should be no surprise to longtime fans. In finally pitting Aang (Zach Tyler Eisen) against Fire Lord Ozai (Mark Hamill), the finale brings "Avatar" to an epic, satisfying conclusion that synthesizes the show's high-octane action, contemplative spirituality, and magnetic team dynamics. Furthermore, with the introduction of energybending, the finale proves that "Avatar" was still capable of providing twists and turns up until the final moments.

Still, some Redditors took issue with the episode's inclusion in the poll — not because it's anything but excellent, but because it is a four-part episode. "It's kinda unfair to compare anything to 'Sozin's Comet' because it's four episodes together in what could almost be a movie on its own," wrote u/ARC_Trooper_Echo. Even seasoned critics tended to agree. In her review of the finale, The New York Times' Susan Stewart referred to the four-episode arc as TV movie. "This movie doesn't skimp on the action," she writes, "even as it excels at philosophizing."

Some viewers prefer slice-of-life episodes

While some Redditors preferred bombastic action episodes like "Sozin's Comet," "The Tales of Ba Sing Se" took the number two spot in the poll with 119 votes. The crux of the online debate put viewers in two camps: those partial to plot-heavy, action-packed episodes, and those who gravitate towards the meandering, slice-of-life episodes that populate the series.

Discussing "The Tales of Ba Sing Se," u/Bucen wrote, "It's the most fillery filler episode in the show." But u/Ok_Arachnid_1294 clapped back, "That's why so many people love it. Instead of moving the plot along, the episode takes the time to flesh out the characters we care so much about and add more depth to them."

Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have also spoken up in defense of so-called filler episodes, going on the "Avatar: Braving The Elements" podcast to say that each one was in the service of the overall series arc (via CBR). "It's all part of the story, guys," DiMartino assured fans. He did concede, however, that the Season 1 episode "The Great Divide," in which the Avatar guides rival factions through a canyon pass, didn't add much to the Aang Gang's adventures. "I'll give them [that episode]," said DiMartino. "I'll say that's pretty 'filler-y."